Keep Away the Winter Chill with a Scotch Broth

winter chill

There are some flavors which linger in the mind forever;like a story you already know, but it always have the ability to travel you. A good soup, a comforting hotpot, a favorite cake or biscuit. One of the enduring flavors of my childhood was a traditional Scotch Broth – my aunts used to make this for us when we went to visit.

You can vary the ingredients if you find some difficult to find. However, I’d recommend that you try and keep in the small quantity of cabbage or kale, because this adds something special to the broth during the winter season!

winter chill


  • 1lb neck of mutton (or some beef, or minced beef…. you get the picture!)

  • Approx 2 pints of water

  • 1-2 ozs of barley

  • Handful of dried peas, soaked overnight to soften

  • 1 medium turnip

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 leek

  • 1 onion

  • Small piece of cabbage or winter greens or kale

  • Parsley, pepper and salt

  • I use a large pan with a solid, heavy base to make this soup. (A pressure cooker is fine.)


Put the water into the pan, add the meat and the well-washed barley. Bring to the boil, add the diced turnip, carrots, chopped leek, finely chopped onion and peas; reduce the temperature to a gentle simmer. Cook very slowly for about 90 minutes and then add the cabbage.

Before serving, lift out the meat (ok, not the mince, that wouldn’t be possible), dice it and then return it to the soup. Season to taste and add the chopped parsley.

Serve hot with delicious homemade bread or a wholemeal scone.

I hope you enjoy this little taste of Scotland.

What type of broth do you make to keep away the winter chill?

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